The Best CD Rates in 2020

Certificates of deposit are a financial tool that investors can use to earn money on cash they’re willing to set aside for an agreed-upon period of time. When consumers purchase investment CDs, financial institutions get the green light to utilize that money to earn a profit. In return, you get paid interest. The best CD rates deliver returns higher than more flexible accounts like savings or checking accounts.

The 8 best CD rates of 2020

Lender 12-Month APY 3-Year APY Minimum Deposit SimpleScore*
Ally 1.00% 1.05% $0 4.6
Barclay’s 0.85% 0.85% $0 4.5
Charles Schwab 0.15% Not Listed $1,000 3
Discover .90% 1.05% $2,500 3.5
Marcus 1.10% 1.10% $500 4
Synchrony 0.90% 1.15% $2,000 4
TIAA Bank 1.05% 1.21% $5,000 3.5
Capital One 360 0.50% 0.80% $0 3.8

*SimpleScore Methodology

Ally – Best customer satisfaction

Ally has several different CD options to choose from, with rates from 0.95% up to 1.15% on select products.

  • 12-month APY: 1.00%
  • 3-year APY: 1.05%
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • SimpleScore: 4.6

It’s not surprising that Ally scored so highly in J.D. Power’s satisfaction study. The company’s CD products require no account minimum, have competitive APY rates and are supported by several high-quality customer service options. What’s unique is three and five-year CD rates are 1.05% and 1.15% respectively, the 18-month CD has an APY of 1.05% for any deposit amount. Ally’s CD rates are on par with the leaders in the online banking industry. If you’re looking for a longer-term CD, look into the 18-month option as it carries a higher rate than longer-term options.

Barclay’s – Best for high yields

Barclay’s CDs offer industry competitive 1.00% APY for all options 12 months and longer with no account minimum to open.

  • 12-month APY: 0.85%
  • 3-year APY: 0.85%
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • SimpleScore: 4.5

Barclay CD rates vary between 0.35% and 0.85% APY on term lengths from 3 months to 5 years. Compared to traditional brick and mortar banks, this rate is quite high. No account minimum to open is a welcomed perk from a large bank that’s not available with every CD provider. Investors looking to work with a brick and mortar bank while still getting online bank rates should consider Barclay’s high yield CDs as an option.

Charles Schwab – Best for investors

Charles Schwab has some of the longest and shortest term CDs available ranging from 1 month all the way out to 20 years.

  • 12-month APY: 0.20%
  • 3-year APY: Not listed
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • SimpleScore: 3.75

You’d be hard-pressed to find another bank offering CDs for a single month, never mind for two decades. These flexible terms are great for investors with unique savings schedules. Additionally, if you’re an investor that expects rates to be lower in the extended future, Charles Schwab’s extended-length CD options let you lock in current rates. One drawback to the offerings is a higher-than-average minimum deposit to open an account. This may be a deterrent to savers just starting out with smaller pools of funds to invest.

While CD rates are lower than the industry average at Charles Schwab, the flexibility for short and long-term CDs is unparalleled. If you’re looking for a less-common length CD, take a peek at what Charles Schwab has to offer.

Discover – Best short-term CDs

Discover has some of the best rates around on shorter-term CDs, including .90% APY on 12-month CDs.

  • 12-month APY: .90%
  • 3-year APY: 1.05%
  • Minimum deposit: $2,500
  • SimpleScore: 3.25

Discover high yield CDs have industry-leading rates on shorter-term CDs. There is a $2,500 minimum deposit, which may be a deterrent to some. But if you have that much to invest and don’t want to be locked into a multi-year CD, Discover is where you’ll want to be, because overall, the 12-month CD rates at Discover are incredible. Very few other providers can come close with this level of return on such a short-term investment product.

Marcus – Best without penalty fees

One-sentence review summary: Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers CDs from 6 months to 6 years with industry competitive rates and high levels of customer satisfaction.

SimpleScore Data:

  • 12-month APY: 1.10%
  • 3-year APY: 1.10%
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • SimpleScore: 4

Marcus CDs are available from six months to six years with APY rates from 0.60% to 1.15% APY. The Goldman Sachs’ products also come with a 10-day rate guarantee, which is not industry standard. If a higher rate becomes available during the first week and a half after you open your account, the company will bump your rate.

Additionally, Marcus offers no-penalty CDs great for investors who aren’t sure if they might need access to their funds during the investment period. The CDs are available for seven months with an APY of 1.00% and a minimum opening balance of $500. If for some reason during the seven months you need to access your money, you’ll be hit with $0 in early withdrawal penalties and will keep all the interest you’ve earned.

Marcus CDs offer industry competitive rates that include a rate guarantee if things should change early on in the process. If you’re worried about missing out due to market volatility, Marcus CDs could be the solution you’re looking for.

Synchrony – Best for customer perks

One-sentence review summary: Synchrony’s APY rates are also some of the highest in the industry, as well as great customer perks.

  • 12-month APY: .90%
  • 3-year APY: 1.15%
  • Minimum deposit: $2,000
  • SimpleScore: 3.75

Synchrony has certificates of deposit available from 3 months out to 60 months. Rates span from 0.25% up to 1.20% depending on the term length. Those people looking to get a short three-month CD will enjoy some of the highest short-term rates on the market. However, the longer you stay a customer with Synchrony, the easier customer support becomes, with customers of five years or more receiving a dedicated customer service line . However, customers of all tiers still receive great support and no monthly fees. If you’re someone looking for a CD for 12 months or less, Synchrony may provide the strongest rates out there. You will need at least $2,000 to get started, though.

TIAA Bank – Best yield pledge

TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge Promise guarantees CD holders will have an APY in the top 5% of competitive accounts every week throughout the life of the CD.

We crunched the numbers

  • 12-month APY: 1.05%
  • 3-year APY: 1.21%
  • Minimum deposit: $5,000
  • SimpleScore: 3.5

TIAA Bank has the steepest minimum opening account balance at $5,000. However, the account comes with perks you won’t get elsewhere. TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge Promise says the company will check CD rates across competitors weekly to ensure the rate they are offering rates in the top 5%. If it’s not, your rate is getting bumped up. TIAA Bank’s accounts are reserved for those with at least $5,000 to get started. But if you have the funds to invest, the Yield Pledge will guarantee a competitive rate for the entire length of the CD.

Capital One 360 – Best mobile app

Capital one has competitive rates on one-year CDS, but the rates you’ll earn decline as you get into longer terms.

  • 12-month APY: 0.50%
  • 3-year APY: 0.80%
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • SimpleScore: 3.2

For tech-savvy investors, the Capital One mobile banking app provides great account transparency and the ability to manage your investments easily. For your CDs, you’ll be able to see your accounts organized in a well-laid-out dashboard.

In case you want to conduct other banking activities on the same platform, the Capital One mobile app lets you pay bills, monitor your credit score, lock your associated accounts, and get instant purchase notifications. Investors looking for a complete banking solution and not just CDs may be interested in checking this out. Capital One CDs should be considered as an option if you’re looking for a year or shorter length. Additionally, if you’re looking for a company that has a lot of different account types you can get under one roof, it might be the right fit.

What CD term should I get?

Ultimately, the CD term that you decide on will depend largely on your liquidity. If you find that you have a lot of financial wiggle room and can afford to go without some of your spare cash for an extended period of time, you should look into a longer term fixed CD. Generally, the longer you agree to leave your money with a bank, the better the rates will be that they offer you, meaning more money for you in the long-run.

If you anticipate needing that money in the near future, though, a short-term CD is probably a better option. The APR that banks offer likely won’t be as lucrative, but you’ll have access to your money sooner and won’t have to pay a fee for taking your deposit out before it matures.

What if I need to withdraw a CD before it matures?

Though the CD interest rates might be what initially catches your eye, there’s something else that you should consider before making a decision to invest in a CD: early withdrawal fees. Most financial institutions will charge you a fee if you withdraw your money before your CD matures.

It doesn’t have to be all bad though. If the interest that you collect outweighs the fee, you can still make a respectable profit from your CD.

The bottom line

Including certificates of deposit in your investment strategy brings a risk-averse product with guaranteed returns to round out your portfolio. If you’ve got cash you’re willing to avoid touching for at least one month, you can see a nice return. Typically, the longer you can part with the money, the higher the CD rates you’ll see.

Methodology

The Simple Score was created with you in mind, to simplify the process of making complex auto insurance decisions, for your peace-of-mind – and wallet. We rated the best CD providers based on five different categories: 12-month APY, 3-year APY, customer satisfaction, support tools and minimum deposit.

Customer satisfaction ratings were scored based on J.D. Power’s U.S. Direct Banking Satisfaction Study (2019). We also lean on our editorial expertise and industry knowledge to help choose and rank each company. Our ratings are meant to be a directional and helpful tool to help you in the process of choosing a certificate of deposit to invest in. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best CD rates and company that fits your specific needs.

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.

Jason Wesley
Jason Wesley
Contributing Writer

Jason Wesley is a seasoned copywriter with a passion for writing about banking, tech, personal growth, and personal finance.As a business owner, relationship strategist, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base and skill set with the rest of the world.